WASHINGTON (WATE) — Senator Bob Corker spoke about Niger and President Donald Trump on ABC News’ “Good Morning America” Tuesday.
The senator from Tennessee spoke with ABC News Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
Corker started the interview discussing an ambush in Niger that left four US soldiers dead on Oct. 4. The Republican is the chairman of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Stephanopoulos asked the senator about his recent criticism of President Trump.
On social media, the senator tweeted: “It’s a shame the White House has become an adult day care center. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning.”
Corker told ABC News, “I don’t make comments that I haven’t thought about.”
Trump has hit back several times, including calling him “Liddle’ Bob Corker.”
Corker told ABC News, “When you look at the fact that we’ve got this issue in North Korea and the president continues to kneecap his diplomatic representative, the secretary of state, and really move him away from successful diplomatic negotiations with China, which is key to this. You are taking us on a path to combat and so I want to support these efforts that are underway. The president undermines our secretary of state, raises tensions in the area by virtues of the tweets that he sends out and I would just like for him to just leave it to the professionals for a while and see if we can do something that is constructive for our country, the region and the world.”
The president will be meeting with Republican senators, including Corker, on tax reform Tuesday.
“If you start taking things off the table before you get started, you make that very difficult, ” said Corker. “What I hope is going to happen is the president will leave this effort to the tax-writing committees. Let them do their work and not begin taking things off the table that ought to be debated in these committees at the proper time.”
President Trump commented on Corker’s interview, saying the senator “couldn’t get elected dog catcher in Tennessee, now fighting tax cuts. Corker dropped out of the race in Tennessee when I refused to endorse him, and now is only negative on anything Trump. Look at his record!”
Sen. Corker responded, “Same untruths from an utterly untruthful president. #AlertTheDaycareStaff.”
Trump went on to say that the senator is not a good chairman for the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee and that people like him are the reason for the country taking steps back.
East Tennessee Republican candidates vying for a Congressional seat spoke publicly Tuesday on the public feud.
“I think it’s a big distraction,” Tim Burchett, Knox County Mayor and congressional candidate, said. “When I was in the legislature in Nashville and something big went down, I would always look for what was going on behind the scenes, and I think a lot of times in Washington, that’s what goes on. We’re watching up here at this fight of a bunch of kids on the playground, and something really big is going on right here.”
“What the two of them are participating in is not my style, not what I would do,” Jimmy Matlock, Tennessee State Representative and congressional candidate, said.
Both Matlock and Burchett agree that the senator and president are expressing their frustration in an unproductive way.
“I would like to think that both of them are very mature, professional adults,” Matlock said. “They are certainly leaders of our great country, and as leaders, my wish is that their behavior would shed a tone. And that’s what troubles me a little bit about this tenor that seem to be in our society now.”
And the congressional candidates have some advise for the feuding pair.
“It’s just never ending. I think one of them needs to stop,” Burchett said. “I’ve found that when people are critical of me, if I just let it go, as much as I want to fire it back, just let it go.”
“I think both of them need to simultaneously should say at the same time ‘hey, we’re big guys, we’re mature men, let’s conduct ourselves like that,” Matlock said. “The world is watching.”